2023 Elections: NSCDC warn Nigerians against vote-buying

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A top-ranking officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Ezekiel Onibiyor, has issued a warning to Nigerians ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Onibiyor cautioned Nigerians against involving themselves in vote-buying during elections in the country.

He spoke to our correspondent at a workshop on electoral funding organized by the Centre for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch, CeFTIW, in Abuja.

Onibiyor urged Nigerians to provide security agencies, including the NSCDC with evidence that would lead to the arrest and prosecution of those involved in vote-buying.

”Our role is to arrest the situation of vote-buying at any level, and in doing that, we need evidence. In recent elections like that of Osun and Ekiti, NSCDC effected arrests across those states, but it’s one thing to arrest and another thing to prosecute.

“If people do not avail us with evidence, there is an extent to which those arrested can be held down; we must release them after some time, so we need evidence from the people. The more we get this evidence, the more we go on with the prosecution. The moment we can prosecute, society’s confidence will spring up.

“The last time we ever got any serious prosecution was in the first republic when Oba Akran was prosecuted for transferring public funds into electioneering issues; we need the people to come up with information. The more information we get, the easier it will be for prosecution.

”Nigerians should come out and participate in the political space; they should avail information on vote-buying to security agencies; we are working together more than ever before.

“For us to effect an arrest, give us information, and we will come up with prosecution, and the judicial system is ready to take up and be involved in issues that have to do with vote-buying.

“Vote-buying is not about the last man standing in the polling booth; it happens at the electoral college where you have delegates; it happens at that level.”

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